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KidGlue Craft: Pine Cone Bird Feeders

By Sarah Matheny on January 8th, 2010

pineconebirdfeederAnd I thought I was done smearing nut butters on foliage after I graduated first grade. We enjoy crafts at our house, but so far I felt fortunate that we had avoided the type that involved a blurry mix of materials that can be eaten and materials that can’t.

My luck ran out, though, when Special Agent Oso recently had a “secret mission” in which he helped the precocious “Brianna” construct a bird feeder by combining a snack and ground debris.  Someone should have done a better job at keeping this mission “secret” from my kids, because ever since they watched the episode, there has been a burning desire, and loud insistence that they too spread the bird love…and the peanut butter.  Here’s how you can do it too!


  • Pine cone (preferably dry and not too dirty)
  • Peanut butter (creamy works best, though crunchy is unarguably the tastiest)
  • Bird seed
  • Ribbon, twine or fishing line
  • Butter knife for spreading

Pry the peanut butter jar from your hungry toddlers’ hands.  Spread the pine cone with peanut butter.  Sprinkle bird seed all over the pine cone, with a plate underneath to catch the extra seeds.  When the pine cone is adequately covered, roll the cone in the remaining seeds on the plate.  Tie the twine or fishing line around the top of the cone and hang it from a tree.

How to handle travel ‘tummy problems’

Redlands Daily Facts July 6, 2011 | MIMI BARRE Question: I plan to travel to a foreign country. I am afraid of getting constipated or getting “the trots.” I can’t live in the bathroom. Do you have any suggestions?

Mimi: Usually if we drink enough water and eat enough fiber in whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans and nuts, we don’t have problems with constipation. Stay away from laxatives. The only over- the-counter product that I would recommend is psyillium.

The brand that is easiest to take is PerDiem. Swallow a spoon full with a glass of water chaser. This will often regulate your system to prevent both constipation and diarrhea.

After a spell of diarrhea, figure out why it happened. If you ate something bad, thank your body for knowing to get rid of poison. This and vomiting are the body’s way of purging poisons. When traveling, you may pick up a bug and get Montezuma’s revenge. Let it run its course. Let your body purge. The diarrhea may be accompanied with vomiting. here too much fiber

Stay hydrated. Drink water. Ginger tea or ginger ale may help quiet your gurgling tummy. Soda crackers may help. If you feel weak, adding a little sugar and a bit of salt to your tea will help. Your body will be low on electrolytes.

Do not run for the Pepto or Lomotil immediately. Let your body get rid of the bad stuff.

If the problem continues for over a day, try an over-the-counter remedy like Pepto, Keopectate or Imodium. Pepto coats the stomach to make it feel better and has been proven very effective in quieting stomach problems. Keopectate is kind of like concrete and just hardens up stuff so it doesn’t flow out so readily. Imodium slows down the peristaltic action of the gut. Be sure to continue to focus on staying hydrated. see here too much fiber

Beyond three days, you will want to see a doctor to be tested to see if you have something more than just a bug, too much fiber, or dehydration.

After a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, the good guys in your gut have been washed out. So replenish them by taking probiotics. Tablets are available in the drug store, health food store, and Trader Joe’s. The refrigerated type may have more potent strains than the dry type. I take dry, non-refrigerated tablets because I carry them when I travel. Cultured yogurt may be a good source. Read the label to make sure that the culture is living. Kefir and cultured buttermilk are usually good sources also for probiotics to rebuild the friendly flora.

Nobody wants to spend his vacation in the loo. With these tips, you will feel like climbing the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower soon.

Mimi Barre is the owner of International Day Spa, 325 Cajon St., Redlands. Send your skin care questions to her at She and her estheticians are available for personal consultations. Call 909-793-9080. Past columns of Ask Mimi are on the web at


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